Leafhoppers and

Common Spittlebug
Black Spittlebug 
Tube Spittlebugs

Yellow and Black Leafhopper
Green Flat-headed Leafhopper
Brown Flat-headed Leafhopper 
World's Largest Leafhopper
Black Flat-head Leafhopper
Small Flat-head Leafhopper
Dotted Brown Leafhopper 
Mottled White Leafhopper
Black Leafhopper
Mottled Black Leafhopper
Yellow-headed Leafhopper 
Brown Leafhopper
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Penthimiin Leafhopper 
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Mottled-brown Leafhopper
Yellow-brown Leafhopper
She-oak Leafhopper I
She-oak Leafhopper II 
Paperbark Leafhopper 
Common Jassid
Two-lined Gum-leafhopper 
Green Gum-leafhopper
Mottled-head Gum-leafhopper 

Lantana Treehopper
Banksia Treehopper
Green Horned Treehopper
Brown Horned Treehopper 
Acacia Horned Treehopper
Tri-horned Treehopper

Other Hoppers

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Banksia Treehopper - Crito festivus

Family Membracidae

This page contains pictures and information about Banksia Treehoppers that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.

Male, body length 7mm
Mid summer in Alexandra Hill, all the Swamp Banksia plants had the new shots. On every new shot there were the Banksia Treehoppers. Those Banksia Treehoppers were black in colour. The black pronotum extending back over the abdomen and cover between wings. Males have the small horns while female's hone is just noticeable. The median pronotal process is sinuate and roundly arched above the scutellum.
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The insects mimic the leaf buds of the plants and they hardly be noticed. They insert their mouth part into the young stem and suck the plants juice when feeding. 
The black pronotum extends from head to back over the abdomen. It gives the protection from head to tail. When disturbed, they first move to the other side of the stem. If we put a figure close to them, they jump away with a 'click' sound. 
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For most other treehopper species, adults and nymphs are found feeding on the same plant. We tried to find the nymph and see how they look like. We looked for most of the plants and did not find any. This species could have the annual life cycle. To see their nymph we need to come back earlier next year. 
What we did find was the empty shell as shown last picture above. 

In Jan 2009, we found this treehopper in the bushland near Tingalpa Reservoir. They were also found on Swamp Banksia. Those found in this area were a little bit smaller with colour slightly different.  
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Most other treehoppers jump then fly away in a straight line. Banksia Treehoppers also jump but fly in a small circle, like a fly. They only fly for one to two seconds then land and rest on host plant.
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The Host Plant

Swamp Banksia, Broad-leaved Banksia
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Banksia robur, family Proteaceae 
The insects feed on the Banksia by sucking juice from the plant's young shot, however, we did not notice any damage to the plants.
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The plants can be found in Alexandra Hill and Karawatha Forest near flash water. They usually found in large group.  Each plant is about one meter high. The plant has larger leaves than other Banksia species. Flowers are greenish-yellow in colour. 

1. Crito festivus - Fletcher, M.J. and Larivière, M.-C. (2001 and updates).
2. Wild Plants of Greater Brisbane -  Queensland Museum, 2003, p57. 
3. The leafhoppers and froghoppers of Australia and New Zealand (Homoptera: Cicadelloidea and Cercopoidea) - J W Evans, Australian Museum, 1966, p304, Fig.45H,I.


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Last updated: March 25, 2012.